Confronting Human Complexes Through Nudity: A Review of Les Corps Incorruptibles
Updated: Jan 28, 2020
By: Nikki Di Cunto
Les Corps Incorruptibles By Emilie Hallard Published by: Maria Inc.
Despite popular beliefs, our bodies are political because they continue to be subjected to public criticism.
As a whole, we continue to be challenged by historic and outdated beauty standards that support the ideals of the young, white, thin, ethereal and heterosexual woman. Beauty has been looked at for centuries as a woman’s primary asset, which has fostered a life long chase for the unattainable, the unrealistic, and ultimately the impossible.
This internal belief that a women’s beauty is a reflection of their worth has been at the forefront of women's and girls rapidly deteriorating mental health with issues related to body image, self-hatred, and worthlessness. All in which comes to fruition from the pressure to alter their appearance or selves to fit the mould that satisfies what it means to be beautiful. What it means to be met with love and respect for what lies outside the mould or norm. What it means to no longer assimilate but instead celebrate individuality and uniqueness.
With the constantly evolving global digital age there has been heavy resistance against the crippling definition of beauty as well as the societal ranks in which it holds in our communities and within ourselves. For example, we have watched the fall of Victoria Secret’s iconic fashion show, a key player that has moulded and manipulated the views of millions for over two decades, and are now seeing the rise of nonconformists refusing to be anything less than themselves. Those who choose to celebrate every aspect of their body and their own definition of what it means to be alive. It has been a movement and a rise of opposition for the lack of autonomy that we have over our own bodies without being subjected to societal and or political scrutiny.
There is a new wave of change encouraging us all to unapologetically show up as our true and authentic selves. We are now starting to accept functional diversity with our sexualities and gender, which is undeniably unique for each and every person. It is dangerous to think that we can understand or derive one’s sexuality off of their gender and vice versa. There is no absolute separation of masculinity from femininity and heterosexuality from homosexuality. The concepts of gender and sexuality are fluid, forever changing, they are not concrete.
Emilie Hallard, the artist behind Les Corps Incorruptibles, which is a feminist, queer, anti-racist declaration of love that aims to deconstruct beauty standards by cherishing all body types, ages, genders, and colours. The book is a collection of 40 nudes portraits that deconstructs Eurocentric and heteronormative beauty standards.
Though historically nudity has been extremely controversial due to the inherent tie to sexualization Emilie's portraits address our ability to overcome our complexes through nudity by being able to relate and empathize with one another. The photos are deeply personal and proclamations that perfectionism in relation to the body is an illusion. That the only thing that separates us from one another is our deep-rooted beliefs, fears, and attitudes towards the human form. Her portraits inspire the ability to be vulnerable and to let go of the shame we hold for our natural selves. It pushes us to confront our own judgments of nudity which are usually a reflection of your personal experiences and decisions that we have gone through. It works towards empowering us to confront the adversities we have faced and begin to open our minds towards acceptance. Her work celebrates the human form in every shape, size, and colour which is not limited by sex or gender. Her portraits emphasize that both gender and sex are social constructs that have and continue to influence the way we see the world around us. Through her work with Les Corps Incorruptibles Emilie strives to construct honesty, empowerment, acceptance, and self-confidence for ourselves and for each other.
About the Artist
Emilie lives and works in Barcelona, Spain. Emilie Hallard was born in 1979 in France. She started photography while living in Barcelona and is a self-taught photographer. She first worked with a diary-based approach focusing on people and nightlife with an intimate, moody and sensual dialogue before making the move to a more straightforward approach. Nowadays, she is interested in feminism, vulnerability, gender fluidity and issues, sexuality, body positivity and representation as well as rocky landscapes to ease her mind. She has taken part in various exhibitions and photo festivals in France, Spain, Tunisia, and Switzerland. Her work has been published several times in specialized photography webzines. Her passion for photography led her to curatorship and publishing activities (Maria Inc.) and to work as an interpreter for the Rencontres d’Arles, a photographer for Antoine d’Agata and as an assistant at the Galerie Michèle Chomette in Paris.